• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 11s

Two hours of sitting cancels out 20 minutes of exercise, study finds

By Agata Blaszczak-Boxe / CBS News 1:39 PM July 8, 2014

We already know that a sedentary lifestyle isn’t good for our health, but can we measure just how bad it really is for us? A new study offers an answer: two hours of sitting cancels out the benefits of 20 minutes of exercise for our cardiorespiratory fitness levels.

The study, published online July 8 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that prolonged sitting affected people’s fitness levels regardless of whether they exercised or not.

“Previous studies have reported that sedentary behavior was associated with anincreased risk for cardiovascular outcomes; however, the mechanisms through which this occurs are not completely understood,” study author Dr. Jarett Berry, an assistant professor of internal medicine and clinical science at UT Southwestern, said in a statement. “Our data suggest that sedentary behavior may increase risk through an impact on lower fitness levels, and that avoiding sedentary behavior throughout the day may represent an important companion strategy to improve fitness and health, outside of regular exercise activity.”

The researchers examined the cardiorespiratory fitness levels, average daily exercise and sedentary behavior in 2,233 people ages 12 to 49 without a history of heart disease, asthma or stroke.

Their findings come on top of previous research that has also shown the negative impact of sedentary behavior on health, including the risk of obesity, heart attack, cancer and even premature death.

But there is also some good news for all those who have to spend long hours sitting on a daily basis.

“We also found that when sitting for prolonged periods of time, any movement is good movement, and was also associated with better fitness,” Dr. Jacquelyn Kulinski, a recent graduate from the UT Southwestern Cardiology Fellowship Training Program, said in a statement. “So if you are stuck at your desk for a while, shift positions frequently, get up and stretch in the middle of a thought, pace while on a phone call, or even fidget.”

And there are other strategies that people can implement to reduce the impact of prolonged sitting on health. The researchers recommended taking short walks during lunch and throughout the day, using a pedometer to track daily steps, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, hosting walking meetings at work and replacing a standard desk chair with a fitness ball or a treadmill desk if possible.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Pilots, Blue Angels fill the sky Saturday at Arctic Thunder 2016

    by Daniella Rivera on Jul 30, 18:56

    Arctic Thunder 2016 kicked off at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) Saturday. The air show is, historically, Alaska’s biggest two-day event. Soldiers say Arctic Thunder and the JBER open house are an opportunity for the military to invite Alaskans into their world for a weekend. “Today is all about our support, that we like to show […]

  • Crime

    Mother arraigned for murder, manslaughter after death of 4-month-old

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 30, 18:32

    A 22-year-old woman was arraigned in court Saturday, where she faces charges of murder and manslaughter following the death of her 4-month-old daughter. Nina Alexie was indicted indicted on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter on July 28. According to a Friday release from state attorney general’s office, the child was found dead on July […]

  • News

    “Significant loss of life” in Texas hot air balloon crash

    by CBS/AP on Jul 30, 16:44

    Last Updated Jul 30, 2016 7:00 PM EDT LOCKHART, Texas – A hot air balloon carrying at least 16 people caught on fire and crashed in Central Texas on Saturday, causing what authorities described as a “significant loss of life.” Erik Grosof with the National Transportation Safety Board would not provide an exact number of how […]

  • Sports

    IOC sets up 3-person panel to rule on Russian entries

    by Stephen Wilson / AP Sports Writer on Jul 30, 16:32

    The IOC has set up a special three-person panel to make a final ruling on which individual Russian athletes are allowed to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The International Olympic Committee’s ruling executive board made the decision Saturday in its final meeting before the opening of the Rio Games next Friday. IOC spokesman […]

  • News

    Pocket US Constitution becomes best-seller after speech

    by Associated Press on Jul 30, 15:01

    A pocket version of the U.S. Constitution has become a best-seller on Amazon.com. The 52-page pamphlet printed by the National Center for Constitutional Studies sells for $1 and was in the Top 10 best-selling books on Amazon on Saturday afternoon. The site produces an hourly list of its best sellers. The Constitution emerged as a […]

  • Lifestyle

    ‘Game of Thrones’ to end after season 8, but 7th still ahead

    by Associated Press on Jul 30, 12:55

    HBO is confirming what “Game of Thrones” fans never wanted to hear: The fantasy-thriller phenomenon will be coming to an end after Season 8. Recently HBO renewed the series – adapted from George R.R. Martin’s novels – for a shortened seventh season consisting of seven episodes. The eighth season will bring the saga to a […]

  • News

    Invasive crawfish spread into Kodiak watershed

    by Associated Press on Jul 30, 11:52

    Tribal leaders in Kodiak are working to determine why crawfish, an invasive species, are spreading into the Buskin watershed. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports that the small crustaceans have been spotted in the Kodiak waters occasionally since the early 2000s, but now the Sun’aq Tribe says the problem is more widespread than previously believed. Sun’aq […]

  • Crime

    Police identify 18-year-old who died after being shot, left at hospital

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 30, 8:16

    Updated at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 30 An afternoon release from police named the victim in Saturday’s early morning homicide as 18-year-old Elijah Zeller. Zeller was dropped off at an Anchorage hospital with a gunshot wound early Saturday morning and later died, according to the Anchorage Police Department. APD is treating the case as […]